Punch Day Recipe

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 by

When you think of punch, two things usually come to mind. The first is the typical, artificial red drink with only a scarce fraction of actual juice and a boatload of sugar. The other is the alternative to beer served at adult parties, with an indiscernible sweet flavor you can barely make out over the bite of plastic bottle liquor. Believe it or not, punch (originally panch), is the Hindustani word for five. The traditional five ingredient drink contained alcohol, lemon, sugar, water and tea or spices. In anticipation of National Punch day, we decided to explore the world of punch to find our favorite celebratory version for the festive day.

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Since National Punch day lands on a Thursday, we decided on a non-alcoholic version so we could get festive and still make it to work on Friday. We wanted to integrate loose leaf tea because, in our opinion, tea makes everything at least a little bit tastier! After taste testing quite a few different tea punches, we landed on this Honey Orange Hibiscus Punch. Not only was it a breeze to make, it was so flavorful and fresh, we knew we couldn’t top it. With a combination of orange blossom honey syrup, fresh orange juice, and hibiscus, this punch is equal parts refreshing and autumnal. We love it! It isn’t too sweet or too tart, and that dash of fizziness from the sparkling water screams party!

We hope you celebrate National Punch Day by trying out this fun recipe! Report your findings in the comments below.

 

YIELD: Makes 5 to 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

2 cups – boiling water

1/2 cup Organic Hibiscus

1 1/4 cup – Orange Blossom Honey Syrup

1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice

2 1/2 cups of sparkling water

1 bunch fresh mint leaves

orange peel garnish

ice cubes

 

For Orange Blossom Honey Syrup:

1 cup – orange blossom honey

1/4 cup – hot water

DIRECTIONS

  • Pour boiling water over the hibiscus, cover, and allow to steep for 30 minutes. During this time, make the orange blossom honey syrup. In a saucepan, slowly bring honey and water to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool. Strain hibiscus into 2-quart pitcher; add the orange blossom honey syrup, orange juice, and cold water; stir.
  • Pour 10 ounces of the punch into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes and 2 to 3 mint leaves; close tightly and shake. Pour and garnish with orange peel and fresh mint leaves. Serve!

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018 by

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake. What more could we possibly say? This incredibly tasty recipe was prepared by our resident programmer’s extremely thoughtful mother, Ellen. It’s a simple, low-effort desert featuring a rich chocolate fudge sauce that forms during the baking process. WARNING: do not taste test as you will end up with chocolate sauce all over your face. If you’re like us, you might also end up without any cake left. Serve with some ice cream for a nice balance of cold dessert and warm cake! Now, let’s get down to business.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of brewed coffee, cold (our Grandfather’s Blend works great, but you can use whatever you prefer.)
  • 6 tablespoons of butter, extra for greasing the cake pan
  • 1/3 cup of chocolate chips (chopped semi-sweet chocolate also works)
  • 2/3 cup of cocoa powder, divided
  • 1 cup of white sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup of flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk (preferable whole milk)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar

Directions:

  • Heat your oven to 325 degrees, and take an 8 inch square or round cake pan that is at least 1 ½ to 2 inches deep and grease it with butter. Combine the 6 tablespoons of butter, chocolate chips, 1/3 cup of cocoa in a double boiler over simmering water. Melt them together. Watch it carefully and stir frequently until combined. Remove from heat (alternatively, this can be done in a microwave on half power. Again, watch carefully and stir frequently.)
  • Whisk together 2/3 cup of white sugar, vanilla and milk. Add egg yolk and whisk it to combine. Add this mixture to the melted chocolate and whisk together. Add flour and baking powder. Stir to combine. Pour this mixture into the cake pan and spread evenly. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/3 cup of cocoa, remaining 1/3 cup of white sugar, and brown sugar, breaking up any clumps with your fingers. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the cake batter in your pan. Do not stir.
  • Pour the coffee over the cocoa/sugar mixture. Do not stir. Bake until the cake is puffed and bubbling and just beginning to pull away from sides the sides of the cake pan, about 35-45 minutes.
  • Cool for at least 15 minutes before spooning into bowls to serve.
  • Magically, there will be a nice chocolate cake on top of a rich pudding sauce underneath! Make sure to store at room temperature.

 

This is not an elegant cake, frankly it looks like a mess. But it’s a mess of chocolate that you can eat, and you bet it is delicious. In our opinion it’s one of the easiest most impressive desserts you’ll ever make. Enjoy and let us know in the comments below how it turned out!

Iced Chai Bubble Tea

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 by

Bubble Tea

Bubble tea, also known as boba, is a Taiwanese drink with many variations. The oldest version is sweetened iced tea with milk, shaken until frothy, sometimes poured over tapioca pearls. We decided to try this basic recipe with our Spiced Chai Black Tea, which is delicious sweetened with milk. Unlike store bought bubble tea, you can add as much or little sugar as you like, and any type of milk or creamer you prefer (coconut milk would be great). Have fun with this recipe and make it your own!

Supplies (per serving)

1/4 cup dried tapioca pearls (boba) for bubble tea, such as these

3 teaspoons of looseleaf chai tea

1 cup milk (or to taste)

Simple syrup (substitute agave nectar or honey if you prefer)

extra wide straw

cocktail shaker

Instructions

Make a strong cup of tea and let it cool. We used three teaspoons of loose leaf chai, brewed for about three and a half minutes. Cook your boba according to the instructions on the package. You can find tapioca pearls in different sizes and colors (even rainbow), all of which have a pretty neutral flavor, but the cooking time varies. Once the pearls are cooked and drained, submerge them in simple syrup and store in the fridge. When you’re ready to put it all together, add a scoop of the boba with syrup to the bottom of a glass. Add the milk, tea, and a splash of simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes and shake well. Strain into your glass, add a fat straw, and enjoy!

 

 

Earl Grey Truffles with Orange & Lavender

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 by

truffles

Homemade valentines might bring doilies and glue sticks to mind, but this classy upgrade is almost as easy as the elementary school version. Chocolate truffles are essentially ganache nuggets dusted with cocoa powder. Ganache is incredibly easy to make and dangerous to have in the fridge. This recipe makes a dozen (good sized) truffles, but you might want to double it in case you find yourself “testing” that ganache more than a few times as it cools. We used just enough of our Earl Grey Zephyr loose leaf tea, featuring real oil of bergamot, orange peel, and lavender, to subtly flavor the chocolate. Use more tea to further emphasize the flavor, or try it with our Lady Earl White or Royal Earl Grey Chai.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Earl Grey Zephyr loose leaf tea
  • 6 oz. fine-quality dark chocolate (we used 70% cacao)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions

Bring cream and butter to a boil in a saucepan and remove from heat. Stir in tea leaves and let steep 5 minutes. While the tea is steeping, finely grind chocolate in a food processor and transfer to a bowl. Pour the cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve onto the chocolate, discarding the tea leaves. Whisk until smooth. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.

To shape the truffles, spoon even scoops of ganache onto a baking sheet. A melon baller or ice cream scoop can help create rounded, even scoops. Make sure your hands are cold (running them under cold water or holding a piece of ice first helps). Dry and roll each piece of ganache into a ball. Keep the rolling to a minimum to prevent the chocolate from softening. They don’t have to be perfectly round; after all, they’re homemade! Drop several balls at a time into bowl of cocoa powder and turn to coat. Transfer to an airtight container, separating layers with wax paper. Store for up to two weeks in the fridge, dusting lightly with more cocoa before serving if needed.

 

The Perfect Two-Ingredient Dessert

Friday, January 8th, 2016 by

Affogato

It’s called an affogato and it’s perfect in its simplicity. All you need is a scoop or two of vanilla gelato and a single shot of freshly brewed espresso. While it’s pretty simple to make (pour the hot espresso over gelato), there are a few tricks to making an affogato great:

  1. Don’t skimp on the ingredients. The gelato (or ice cream if you prefer) should be good quality and the espresso fresh. Experiment with different flavors if you like. Caramel is delicious and a flavor with a little texture like chocolate chip would work well too.
  2. Make sure your gelato is very cold and scoop generously. Otherwise you will have a delicious bowl of cool soup. Chilling the bowl also helps.
  3. Make the espresso immediately before serving. Part of the fun of this dessert is the contrast between textures and temperatures. The espresso should be hot and served in something easy to pour.
  4. Optional: serve with a straw, unless you’re dining alone, in which case just put the bowl up to your face and drink all that melted deliciousness at the bottom. Waste nothing.